The Secular Humanistic World View versus the Christian World View and The Biblical Perspectives on Military Preparedness Part 2 by Francis Schaeffer


The Secular Humanistic World View
versus the Christian World View
The Biblical Perspectives on Military Preparedness.

First of all, we must be very careful to define what we mean by humanism. By humanism we are not talking about humanitarianism. Humanitarianism means being kind to people, and as Christians we should be humanitarian even more than anyone else. We must be equally careful not to bring into confusion the difference between humanism and the Humanities. A study of the Humanities is the study of human creativity – often related to classical learning, but also to the whole of human creativeness. And as such Christians above everyone should be interested in the Humanities. Many of my books, films, etc. deal with a Christian consideration of the Humanities – being thankful for the creativity which is a natural part of Man because people are made in the image of God.

Then we must ask what humanism is, which we must contrast with great clarity to the Christian world view. We must realize that the contrast goes back to two different views of final reality. What is final reality? In the Judeo- Christian world view, the final reality is the infinite-personal God who truly is there objectively whether we think He is there or not. He is not there just because we think He is there. He is there objectively. And He is the Creator. He is the Creator of everything else. And we must never forget that one of the distinguishing marks of the Judeo-Christian God is that not everything is the same to Him. He has a character, and some things agree to His character and some things conflict with that character. To this God (in contrast to Buddhism and Hinduism for example) not everything is the same, and, therefore, there are absolutes, right and wrong, in the world.

As we come on the humanist side – to the final reality which is being taught in our schools and which is much of the framework of the thinking and writing of our day – the final reality is thought of as material or energy which has existed in some form forever and which has its present configuration by pure chance.

The real issue is the question of final reality. The difference lies in what the final reality is: Either the infinite-personal God to whom not everything is the same, or merely material or energy which is impersonal, totally neutral to any value system or any interest in man as man. In this view, the final reality gives no value system, no basis for law, and no basis for man as unique and important.

Beginning about eighty years ago, we began to move from a Judeo-Christian consensus in this country to a humanist consensus, and it has come to a special climax in the last forty years… And today… the consensus in our country and the western world, is no longer Judeo-Christian, but the general consensus is humanist.

All the things that have come into our country which have troubled us are only the inevitable results of this world view. If you hold this world view, you must realize there is no source of knowledge except what man can find for himselt all revelation is ruled out. Knowledge never can be certain; and there can be no value system except that which is totally arbitrary.

And more serious than the personal arbitrary value systems is the fact that it leaves us only with arbitrary law. There is no basis for law. Law becomes only the decision of a small group of people, and what they decide at a given moment is for the good of society. And that is all because the final reality gives no clue as to what law should be, and it is left up to a group of people, the Supreme Court, or whoever they are, to make their own decision as to what is good for society at the moment. So you have relative personal values and arbitrary law, and you will also have the loss of any intrinsic value of the individual person. This is the reason that today in this country we accept what would have been an abomination just ten years ago, and that is abortion growing on into infanticide, the killing of babies after they are born if they do not come up to someone’s standard of value, and on into the drift toward euthanasia of the aged. This is all a natural result of the accendance of this other view concerning final reality and the lowering, therefore, of any view of human life. In their view, the final reality has nothing to say about any real value, any unique value to human life. In our country, this shows itself in many ways, but it most clearly shows itself in the syndrome of abortion leading to infanticide, leading to the euthanasia of the aged. .

The First Amendment, of course, has been stood on its head. The First Amendment was that there should be no national state church for the thirteen colonies, and that the federal government should never interfere with the free expression of religion. Today it has been turned over by the humanistic society, the American Civil Liberties Union, and so on, and the First Amendment is made to say the very opposite, that Christian values are not allowed to be brought into contact with the governmental process.

The terror is, that in the last forty years, civil government and especially the courts, has increasingly been the vehicle to force this other world view on the total population. It is government that has done it by its laws and court rulings…

And then, we must say with sobriety that the United States does not have an autonomous “manifest destiny.” Consequently. if we continue to insist in walking down this road, at some point, as God is God and not all things are the same to God, we who have trampled so completely on all those amazing things that God has given us in this country, can we expect that God does not care? So we must not feel that we are only playing intellectual and political games. lfthis God exists and not all things are the same to Him we must realize as we read through the Scriptures that those who trample upon the great gifts of God one day will know His judgment.

Editor’s Note: This is the first of two parts of Dr. Schaeffer’s address. Part II, dealing with the biblical perspectives on military preparedness (disarmament and pacifism) will appear in the next issue of the CSSH Quarterly. v06n4p17.htm

The Biblical Perspective on Military Preparedness
Francis A. SchaefferCopyright by Francis A. Schaeffer, 1982, “The Secular Humanistic World View versus the Christian World View and The Biblical Perspectives on Military Preparedness” A speech given at the Mayflower Hotel, Washington, D.C., June 22,1982. Reprinted withpermission. *
The first part of our topic was the secular humanistic world view versus the Christian world view, and I have dealt largely with our own country. The second half is “The Biblical Perspective on Military Preparedness.” This is related to what I have lust been speaking about; they are really not two divergent subjects at all. You must realize that the Soviet Union and the Soviet bloc and all of the Marx-Engels-Lenin Communism all of it also has at its base that the final reality is only material, or energy shaped by pure chance. This is the central thing. The economics of Marxianism really 15 not that which is central. It is a dialectical materialism -you have heard the term all your life, I am sure. “Dialectical,” and then comes the word “materialism.” In other words, the final reality is only material, or energy shaped by chance, exactly the same idea that is a plague in our own country under the term of humanism. It leads in the Marxist bloc inevitably to a devaluation of human life. As in our country, humanism leads to abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, and a loss of compassion; this view of final reality does so more totally in the Communist bloc because it is totally committed to this view. There is a total emphasis that there are no fixed values. Therefore, there is a total emphasis that there is only arbitrary law.

You will notice that we have a parallel here to what is happening in our country where this ideology and its effects are not total. In Communist countries it has become total. This idea of the final reality has come to its total conclusion, so there is no fixed value; there is totally arbitrary law, and there is the total loss of the value of the individual person, and only the State has come to matter. There is an elite which sets the laws, which says arbitrarily what the laws are, and which sets forth these things as arbitrary absolutes. So we find in the Soviet bloc a natural direction toward an elite that has more total power in an arbitrary fashion than any of the old kings.

We find that on the basis of their world view, they have a low view of human life concerning the individual person. This takes two forms: First, domestic oppression, from Lenin onward… You must understand that oppression is not an incidental thing in their system. From Lenin onward, oppression was logical on their own population, as an integral part of their system.

The second result is external and that is international expansion and oppression. But I beg you to understand that this is not a fluke of one moment of their history. It is also a part of the integral system which they hold. As naturally as humanism in our country leads to abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia, in the more total expression in the Soviet system humanism leads to internal oppression and external expansion and oppression.

In the light of this natural expansion and oppression wherever they go, what should be our Biblical perspectives on military preparedness? That is the second half of our talk for tonight. I would say that from my study of the Scripture, not to do what can be done for those in the power of those who automatically and logically oppress is nothing less than lack of Christian love. This is why lam not a pacifist.l am not a pacifist, because pacifism in this poor world in which we live, this lost world, means that we desert the people who need our greatest help. As an illustration: lam walking down the street. I see a great big burly man that is beating a little tiny tot to death beating this little girl, beating her, beating her. I come up and I plead with him to stop. If he won’t stop, what does love mean? Love means I stop him in any way I can including. quite frankly, hitting him, and to me this is necessary Christian love in a fallen world. What about the little girl? If I desert the little girl to the bully, I have deserted the true meaning of Christian love. and responsibility to my neighbor.

And we have in the last war the clearest illustration you could have with Hitler’s terrorism. That is, there was no possible way to stop that awful terror that was occurring in Hitler’s Germany except by the use of force. There was no way. As far as I’m concerned, this is the necessary outworking of Christian love. The world is an abnormal world, because of the Fall it is not the way God meant it to be. There are lots of things in this world which grieve us, and yet we must face them…

Unilateral disarmament in this fallen world, and with the Soviet’s materialistic, anti-God base, would be totally utopian and romantic and lead, as utopianisms always do in a fallen world, to disaster. Further, it may sound reasonable to talk of a freeze at the present level or “we won’t ever use atomic weapons first,” but thinking it through, either of these equals practical unilateral disarmament. The atomic deterrent is removed and Europe stands at the absolute mercy of the overwhelmingly superior Soviet forces.

The world quite properly looks back to the church in Germany during the early days of Hitler’s rise and curses it for not doing something when something could have been done… I do not always agree with the French theologian-philosopher. Jacques Ellul, but he certainly is correct when he writes in his book, False Presence of the Kingdom.-

It was in 1934 (the occupation of the Ruhr) or in 1935 (the war in Abyssinial, that Christians should have foretold the inevitable war against Nazism. That was when clarity of vision was essential. After 1937 it was too late. The fate of the world was already sealed for thirty years or more. But in those years the Christians, full of good intentions. were thinking only of peace and loudly proclaiming pacifism. In matters of that kind, Christians’ good intentions are often disastrous.
I am convinced that if the Bible-believing people now go along with the concept of “peace in our time” under the plausible concern and fear of atomic warfare (which we all certainly feel). our children and grandchildren will curse us quite properly for not doing something at this moment to restrain the drift toward the loss of Western Europe and other places to the Soviet expansion. It is not a bare theoretical concept. It means more of the world living in the horrible conditions of our brothers and Sisters under the Soviet Union. with their not only lack of general freedom, but lack of freedom to teach their own children about truth and about Christ. I do not want that for my children and my grandchildren..

In conclusion then… The question comes down to who really is for peace and who really is for war. And the conclusion on the base of the Bible’s realism and in the light of even recent history, is that those who say they are not for unilateral disarmament, but whose position equals unilateral disarmament, are those who, like Chamberlain (at Munich), will bring war.

Editor’s Note: Part I of this address, v06n3p11.htm “The Secular Humanistic World View versus the Christian World View” appeared in VoL VI, No. 3. (Spring 1984) of the CSSH Quarterly.


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